John Green on Originality

There are too many good quotes from this short interview I recently saw on Facebook, so I am posting the whole thing.

Original post:

2016 Writing Goals

I’m a big believer is setting short terms goals to accomplish your long term ones. I also think writing them down and sharing them can help me commit and keep myself accountable to them. 

Well, here goes nothing.

1. Read

That’s right. The best writers read. A lot. So I’m going to try to read 12 books this year. That’s one per month, I know! As I mentioned last time, I’m reading “Bird By Bird” this month.

2. Write

I know I can’t expect to write every day, but I’m going to try to find time to write privately for at least 30 minutes 3 times per week.

I’ll also try to post a blog here at least once per week in the “writing” category. I will be sharing other inspirational things but those won’t count towards the weekly goal.

3. Finish

You can’t really have goals without having some kind of end in mind, even if it’s small or short term. So I will try to finish a piece of short fiction by the end of the year to share with whoever is reading along.

4. Community

Accountability is so important to reach our goals because there will definitely be times when we’ll feel frustrated, discouraged, or both. I will try to find a support group for writers (or maybe I’ll start one?) to stay motivated when the going gets tough.

So I guess all that’s left is to start!

New Year, Old Dreams

A few years ago, a coworker recommended the book, “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott, when I was telling her about my songwriting. I promised I’d read it but never got around to buying it. The truth is I though it sounded a little boring.

A book about writing? I already knew how to write. I’ve been writing creatively since the third grade. When my interests turned to music, I wrote songs instead of stories. It felt like a loftier challenge so I spent most of my free time as a teenager working on lyrics and music.

This past Christmas I finally got around to putting that book on my Amazon wish list. And sure enough, I got it as a gift. A part of me was still curious, but I still wasn’t expecting much. I had read great reviews so I decided to give it a chance.

Currently I’m almost halfway through the book and I could not be more glad to be reading it. Every page has sparked an idea or inspiration to start writing again. I have blogged infrequently for the last ten years, and convinced myself I just couldn’t do it consistently.

I have not attempted to write fiction since the tenth grade, when  my English teacher picked my short story out of everyone in the class and read it aloud to them. It was horrifying, but since no one ever found out it was mine, I survived. There are several other similar memories that stick out to me where I think maybe I should do it again.

So I’m going to try, and this will be a two part experiment. The first is to write creative fiction, privately, at least until something is finished and I think it is good enough to self-publish (I have no delusions of grandeur to be a real novelist). Secondly, I will blog here about the process of writing and learning to write. It will be an assortment of thoughts, ideas, and sources of inspiration I may find in a book, video, or tweet. But I’d like to keep an online journal so I can track how I progress over the years.

Maybe, hopefully, I will also inspire or motivate some others to do something they’ve wanted to do for a long time but didn’t for whatever reason.

Here’s to a new year and old dreams.